The pause “will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today,” Mosseri said.
After the announcement, former Facebook Chief Security Officer (CSO) Alex Stamos voiced his concerns about teen use of social media in a series of posts on Twitter
Stamos says he doesn’t believe young teens should be on social media at all, and put a lot of that responsibility on parents. Studies show increased social media usage has been linked to several mental health issues including anxiety, depression and eating disorders, and is especially harmful for younger people.
Stamos served as Facebook’s CSO from 2015 to 2018 and now runs a cyber consulting firm, according to Business Insider.
Instagram users have to be 13 to create an account, but Mosseri said that many “tween” users make accounts anyway by lying about their age.
Facebook was creating its Instagram for kids project to allow parents to supervise how their children spend time on the app and who they follow. Facebook did not immediately respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story.
Over the past few weeks, The Wall Street Journal published a series of reporting on Facebook called “The Facebook Files.”
The report detailed occurrences when the social media giant admitted its photo-sharing platform Instagram negatively impacts teen girls’ mental health, allowed a few high-profile users to circumvent some of the platform’s rules and made changes to its algorithm that made Facebook “angrier.”
Facebook called many of these allegations ‘mischaracterizations’ in a blog post.